Thomas O'Donnell

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This collection of delicate ink and watercolour sketches by the artist Thomas O’Donnell combines Classical and Old Master beauty with modern day abstraction, colour and creativity. O’Donnell’s source of inspiration is certainly of the old guard; the drawings bear a marked similarity in colour, figure type and method to works by Dutch and Flemish Old Masters – namely those of Rembrandt, Rubens and the Golden Age landscape painters such as Van Ruisdael and Cuyp. Not to limit his love for the art historical tradition to the Netherlands, however, O’Donnell also includes sketches after Chinese figures, Regency gentleman and Classical statuary, all with his signature modernist fluidity. Given the small nature of these works, and their quick handed method of production, it is likely these were done as preparatory drawings for the larger, more formal works which have appeared by this artist at auction in recent years. Intimate but powerful, they strike a fine balance of contrasts between such dichotomies as pen and paint, old and new, as well as the classical and the modern.